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A is for...


... Alphabet


The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
---Edgar Allan Poe


Bones of All Men


What better way to start an alphabetical challenge than to actually introduce an alphabet.... specifically, Hans Holbein's Dance of Death Alphabet. Created in 1524 by German artist, Hans Holbein, this 24-letter alphabet (as letter i = j & letter v = u), was originally published on sheets with corresponding Bible verses to accompany each scene.

The text accompanying the above scene was: Wie sy all sterben in Adam also ouch inn Christo werden sy all lebendig gemacht / We / we / we / denen die do wonen vff der erden.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive/ Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth.

The Dance is introduced with drums and trumpets, where one Death is seen playing a drum and fife, while another Death is seen blowing a horn. The piles of skulls behind them representing the death of all men.

There are 'scenes' for every walk of life--from the greatest of nobility to the innocent babe, all culminating in a final Judgment Day letter. Death partners them all, showing no favoritism, no mercy.

As much of a wallflower as some of us are, the Dance with Death is one dance we won't be allowed to sit out...


The Fated Partner

The music starts,
the players set,
the scene an oft-walked path.

For each he comes,
not one soul missed,
each numbered breath long passed.

Each turn you take,
your steps he counts,
the final dance he's asked.

You'll find him there,
the last song played,
as night's long shadows cast.

                                                                                                                       ---e.a.s. demers
                                                                                                         


Comments

  1. i need a poster or something with this alphabet to hang in my nerd lair ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? I would even take a poster of each individual letter and cover a wall with them ;-)

      Delete

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